World Oceans Day 2022 Photo Contest Winners Showcase the Wonders of Our Blue Planet

  • The United Nations World Oceans Day (UNWOD) Photo Contest invites photographers to share their snaps of our blue planet.
  • The theme for 2022 of “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean” had 6 categories including: Coastal Communities, Nature-Based Solutions and Ocean Creatures.
  • All winning artists were chosen for their way of communicating the “beauty of the ocean and the importance of UNWOD themes”.

A close encounter between a skeleton shrimp and a comb jelly; a stingray and a porcupine seeking the same sand for a meal; a family that has lived its entire life on the water.

Here are some of the unique and mesmerizing snapshots of our blue planet honored by the UN in its ninth annual United Nations World Oceans Day (UNWOD) Photo Contest.

“The United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Contest is an ongoing tradition that calls on photographers and artists from around the world each year to communicate the beauty of the ocean and the importance of respective UNWOD themes,” wrote l UN in an e-mailed press release. at EcoWatch.

The theme for World Oceans Day 2022 is “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”.

“The UNWOD 2022 theme of ‘Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean’ encourages collaboration towards a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its richness but rather restores its vibrancy and brings it new life,” wrote the United Nations in a second press release. .

The 2022 winners all reflected the theme in different ways. They were selected from thousands of applicants and represent more than a dozen countries. First, second and third place winners were chosen in each of six categories: Seascapes Above Water, Coastal Communities, Underwater Seascapes, Nature-Based Solutions and Ocean Exploration, Ocean Creatures and Revitalization . The judges included wildlife photographer Rathika Ramasamy, conservation photojournalist and marine biologist Sirachai Arunrugstichai and underwater photographer Y. Zin Kim.

1. Seascapes above water

Leaf shaped fishing net around a boat.  World Oceans Day 2022

“Oceanic Lotus Leaf”.

Image: Nguyen Vu

The winning photo in this World Oceans Day category was taken by Nguyen Vu from Cao, Vietnam. Titled “Ocean Lotus Leaf”, it shows a fisherman from the Vietnamese province of Quang Ngai casting a net that extends like a leaf around his boat.

“In every profession we can find challenges but also beauty,” Vu said. “When fishermen go out on the water, they hope to come back with boats full of fish and shrimp out of necessity. I just want to transmit the beauty of the art of seine fishing in my native country.

2. Coastal communities

Members of the nomadic Bajau people.  World Oceans Day 2022

Members of the nomadic Bajau people.

Image: Supachai Veerayutthanon

This photo by Supachai Veerayutthanon from Thailand for this World Oceans Day category shows members of the nomadic Bajau people. This community lives exclusively on the water in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia and has developed the ability to dive under the waves for 13 minutes, according to National Geographic.

“Bajau, for many generations, from birth to death, from young to old, they spend their whole lives on their boats,” Veerayutthanon said. “They are not citizens of any state. The sea is their birthplace and their only home on earth.

3. Underwater landscapes

Photo of rays and other fish.  World Oceans Day 2022

Marine protected areas are vital.

Image: Nicolas Hahn

This photo by Nicolas Hahn from Argentina shows the importance of marine protected areas. It shows a diamond ray and one-eyed porcupine fish scouring the sand for food while a school of bigeye trevallies swim behind them.

“The incredible biomass of Cabo Pulmo National Park (Baja California Sur) allows for surreal views,” Hahn said. “Protected areas like these are a great example of how abundant our oceans are when given the opportunity to recover.”

4. Nature-based solutions and ocean discoveries

Marine biologist Adriana Campili works.  World Oceans Day 2022

Marine biologist Adriana Campili at work.

Image: Giacomo d’Orlando

This photo by Giacomo d’Orlando from Italy shows marine biologist Adriana Campili at work as she checks the condition of the reef aquarium at the laboratory of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, which is the body that monitors the health of the Great Barrier Reef. Based in Townsville, Australia, it also conducts coral experiments in its Sea Simulator to help reefs survive the climate crisis.

“In this image, I wanted to portray the close connection between humans and the marine ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of this natural connection,” d’Orlando said.

5. Ocean Creatures

A jellyfish floats under the ice – image by Viktor Lyaguskin from Georgia for the World Oceans Day event

Image: Viktor Lyaguskin

This image by Viktor Lyaguskin from Georgia is titled “Aliens Meet Spaceship,” and it shows just how much real extraterrestrial life beneath the waves can appear when you really look at it. In this case, the alien and the spacecraft are actually a type of shrimp and jellyfish, respectively.

“Caprellas, also known as skeleton shrimps, are very funny and tiny animals: they reach a maximum of 6 cm. [approximately 2 inches] a long time,” Lyaguskin said. “They are very social and active, eating non-stop and fighting with each other. The “spaceship” is a Bolinopsis infundibulum, common Nordic comb jelly. Bolinopsis do not sting but are carnivorous and will eat anything they catch, even other comb jellies. In my image, it floats under the ice.

6. Revitalization

Photos showing a diver releasing a manta ray from a net.  World Oceans Day 2022

“Ghost nets are one of the deadliest forms of marine pollution in Thailand’s oceans.”

Image: Aunk Horwang

The final winning photograph was a series taken by Aunk Horwang of Thailand that draws attention to a deadly form of marine pollution by showing a diver releasing a manta ray from a net.

“Ghost nets are one of the deadliest forms of marine pollution in Thailand’s oceans,” Horwang said. “Frequently, ghost fishing nets entangle large sea creatures like this manta ray. This can be life-threatening if they are not rescued, for example by a diver.

The photo winners were announced as part of the 2022 United Nations World Oceans Day (UNWOD) event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In addition to the photo contest, the event also featured opening remarks from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and opening remarks from model and sustainability advocate Amber Valletta, President and Co-Chair of Mission Blue Sylvia Earle, Portuguese Foreign Minister HE Mr João Gomes Cravinho, Ralph Chami of the International Monetary Fund and La Mer Senior Vice President Lesley Crowther. It will end with a musical performance by singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy and guitarist Julian Lage.

The day was organized by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of ​​the Office of Legal Affairs with the assistance of the non-profit organizations Oceanic Global and La Mer. The photo contest in particular was organized by Ellen Cuylaerts and coordinated with DivePhotoGuide (DPG) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Our ocean covers 70% of the surface of the globe and represents 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. We can’t have a healthy future without a healthy ocean – but it’s more vulnerable than ever to climate change and pollution.

Tackling serious threats to our oceans means working with leaders in every sector, from business to government to academia.

The World Economic Forum, together with the World Resources Institute, brings together the Friends of Ocean Action, a coalition of leaders working together to protect the seas. From a program with the Indonesian government to reduce plastic waste in the sea to a global plan to hunt down illegal fishing, Friends are pushing for new solutions.

Climate change is an integral part of the threat to our oceans, with rising temperatures and acidification disrupting fragile ecosystems. The Forum runs a number of initiatives to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, including hosting the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, who have reduced their companies’ emissions by 9%.

Is your organization interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Learn more here.


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